The UW- River Falls Center for Economic Research (CER) in partnership with St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) has released the June 2011 edition of the St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard. The dashboard is a snapshot of the economic condition of the labor, consumer and housing markets in the three county St. Croix Valley. It presents the latest available data* in one convenient package and can be viewed on the CER's website at www.uwrf.edu/cer.
The economic recovery seems to be an example of two steps forward, one step back. National labor market recovery had a set back in May ‘11. The national economy created only 54,000 net new jobs in May ’11, and as a result, unemployment edged up by 0.5 percentage point to 9.1%. While the private sector created 83,000 new jobs, 29,000 public sector jobs were lost. This highlights the economic challenges presented at national, state and regional levels by the current fiscal situation.
At the state level in Wisconsin, April ’11 unemployment rate was 7.3% down 0.1 percentage points from March ’11 and 1.5 percentage points from April ’10. It will be interesting to see if May data reflects a continuation of the recovery we have seen over the last three month, or if slowdown in job creation seen on the national level will also be observed in Wisconsin.
The unemployment rate in the St. Croix Valley continues to be below the average unemployment rate in the state. April ’11 unemployment rate is 7.1 percent, which is down 1.52 percentage points from April ’10. The decrease resulted from an increase in employment (encouraging) and a decrease in the labor force (not so encouraging).
Spending in the Valley, as measured by sales tax revenue, increased in May ’11 by 22.3% from May ’10, and new vehicle registrations in April ’11 increased by 42.9% from April ’10. Both of these metrics indicate continued economic growth despite a stubbornly slow labor market recovery and a declining housing market.Wisconsin's St. Croix Valley is comprised of St. Croix, Polk, and Pierce counties. All three counties are located along the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. Two of the three counties, St. Croix and Pierce, are included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metropolitan area, a 13-county region with of population of 3.25 million residents. For additional information on the June edition of the St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard, contact Dr. Logan Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (715) 425-4993 or William Rubin at email@example.com or (715) 381-4383.
*Please note that most regional data is available with between a one and two month delay, thus the current month's dashboard will have data from previous months.